I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
The past is obdurate.
The past harmonizes with itself.
I saw the mini-series based on this book before reading/listening to the book, so I was spoiled on much of the major developments. Still I enjoyed this book--probably not any less than I would have unspoiled. (I can't know for sure since I can't go back in time and read the book before watching the show!)
In 2011, Jake Epping is a high-school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He is living a fairly ordinary, orderly life until Al Templeton, proprietor of Al's Diner, introduces him to a seeming impossibility. The pantry of the diner has a portal to one specific day in the past: Tuesday, September 9, 1958. Al has Jake experience this phenomenon for himself rather than try to convince him that it's true. Al has been visiting the past regularly for years, for varying time spans. His visits account for his alarmingly fast aging, since no matter how long the stay in the past, only two minutes will have passed in the "present" time frame upon returning. Changes made in that past affect the future (or present, depending on one's perspective); however all those changes are erased if that portal to the past is used again. Al explains this as a "reset."
The extended visits to the past have taken their toll on Al's health. He is dying of lung cancer and urges Jake to take up a mission Al had attempted and failed to complete: go back to 1958 and stay in the past long enough to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. Jake, divorced and childless, doesn't feel particularly tethered to 2011. But can he really prevent the assassination? If he fails, he's five years older with nothing to show for it.
The two lines at the beginning of this review are lines our narrator repeats often during his mission to change the past. It does not want to be changed. Can you blame it?
While I was listening to and reading this book (I also got the hard cover from the library), I also watched to first two seasons of Twelve Monkeys. I seem to be overdosing on time travel lately. I guess I love this stuff. If you do, too? Read this book!